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Match Previews

In focus: Lincoln City match preview

14 December 2020

Take a closer look at the latest stats and facts in our match preview ahead of Town's Sky Bet League One clash with Lincoln City.

Lincoln City have enjoyed a momentous start to their season – currently sitting in second place in the Sky Bet League One table.

Michael Appleton’s team have chalked up 10 wins so far from 16 games and have only lost four games all season. With a goal difference with just six, the Imps aren’t known for high-scoring games but are noted for solid defending and seeing games out to earn points.

The Imps only trail to league leaders Hull City by two points as they look to pressure the Tigers all the way.

Name: Lincoln City Football Club

Nickname: The Imps

Founded: 1884 (136 years ago)

Stadium: Sincil Bank

Capacity: 10,120

Chairman/owner: Clive Nates

Biggest win: 11-1 v Crewe Alexandra, Division Three (North), 29th September 1951

Biggest loss: 3-11 v Manchester City, Division Two, 23rd March 1895

Highest league finish: 5th, Second Division, 1901–02

Read Steve Cotterill's thoughts ahead of the fixture...

Feature

Steve Cotterill previews Lincoln City

The Manager - Michael Appleton

Born in Salford, Greater Manchester, Michael Appleton started his playing career at Manchester United under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, signing professionally for the Red Devils in 1994. However, it was in a spell on loan with The Imps when the combative midfielder made his Football League debut.

Almost a year later, Michael made his debut for his parent club, a 2-1 win in the League Cup against Swindon Town, before following that up in the next round against Leicester City.

Michael cut his coaching teeth with West Bromwich Albion’s academy before stepping into management roles at Portsmouth, Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers. A move to Oxford United in 2014 followed where he had his most successful management period to date winning automatic promotion to the third tier with The U’s. They were also twice runners up in the EFL Trophy in a three-year spell at the Kassam Stadium which led to a move to former Premier League champions Leicester City as assistant manager.

Following the departure of Craig Shakespeare, Appleton stepped into the breach as caretaker for two games, winning both. Before he left the club following a restructure behind the scenes by the incoming manager, Claude Puel.

Michael’s career then brought a return to The Hawthorns in the summer of 2019, as under 23 Manager at West Brom, a role which he held until moving to Sincil Bank as First Team Manager in late September 2019.

Goalkeeper – Alex Palmer

Former England U16 goalkeeper Alex Palmer joined the Imps on loan on 4 September 2020 from Premier League side West Brom. The shot-stopper made his City debut in a 2-1 win over Crewe Alexandra in the Carabao Cup the next day.

Palmer made a name for himself on loan at Plymouth Argyle last season after keeping 15 clean sheets as the Pilgrims gained automatic promotion back to League One. Alex had previously spent time with Kidderminster Harriers, Oldham and Notts County.

Defender – Lewis Montsma

Young Dutch defender Lewis Montsma joined City during the 2020 Summer Transfer Window, signing from Eerste Divisie side, FC Dordrecht.

A product of the SC Heerenveen academy, Montsma spent a year with SC Cambuur before signing professional terms with Dordrecht in 2018. He made his debut for the club against NEC Nijmegen.

Lewis who is six foot three signed a three-year contract with the Imps before being assigned the vacant number four shirt. So far this season, the towering defender has scored four goals in league competition.

Lewis-Montsma.jpg

Midfielder – Jorge Grant

Initially starting his academy career with Reading, Jorge Grant spent a brief time in the Nike Academy before joining Nottingham Forest in 2013.

The 24-year-old made his professional debut for Forest in 2014 in a 1-0 over Tranmere Rovers. Grant went on to score his first goal for the club in a 3-1 defeat against Spurs in the 2014/15 League Cup.

In order to gain more first team experience, the midfielder joined Notts County on loan in January 2017 for the remainder of the season. He made an instant impact for the side leading to him re-signing for County for the 2017/18 season.

Grant scored 19 goals in 56 appearances for County before joining Luton Town ahead of the 2018/19 campaign. After 17 league appearances, the midfielder then joined Mansfield Town in January 2019 for the remainder of the season. Jorge joined the Imps from Nottingham Forest on a permanent deal in July 2019.

Forward – Tom Hopper

Hopper joined The Imps from Southend United in January 2020, signing a three-and-a-half-year contract.

The Lincolnshire born striker started his career with his hometown club, Boston United, in his teenage years and still holds the record for being their youngest ever outfield player at the age of just 15.

Following his breakthrough at The Pilgrims, he moved to Leicester City where he featured three times in cup competition before heading back North on loan with first Bury and then Scunthorpe United.

His temporary spell with The Iron became permanent in 2015 and he scored 23 times before moving to Southend United in the summer of 2018.

He netted ten times for The Shrimpers in 30 appearances ahead of his move to The Imps, Tom made his City debut as a second half substitute at Portman Road against Ipswich Town in late January 2020.

Tom-Hopper.jpg

League stats:

Results: P16 W10 D2 L4

Last five results: DWWWL

Win percentage: 63%

Average points per game: 2

Average goals scored per game: 1.25

Average goals per game: 2.13

Average shots per match: 12

Average possession: 49%

Fouls per match: 7.27

Offsides per match: 2.27

Top goal-scorer: Jorge Grant - 7

Top Assists: Harry Anderson - 4

Most cards: Timothy Eyoma

Most frequent FT score: 2-0 (3 times)

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